National Fisherman

Virginia lawmakers don't know much about fisheries management, but that hasn't stopped them from overseeing menhaden, the oily baitfish that plays a vital role in the marine food chain and the economy of the Northern Neck.

Members of the General Assembly have persistently rejected measures turning authority over to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, which is charged with regulating all other fisheries.

An amendment pending approval by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission next month might be enough, however, to lead lawmakers to finally recognize their own limitations.

The commission, composed of the 15 Atlantic coast states, coordinates conservation and management of fisheries because, according to its website, "fish do not adhere to political boundaries."

Read the full story at Virginian-Pilot

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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